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Alex

5/31/2019 - Resource Duplication Bug Fix

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Recently it came to my attention that there may be some sort of exploit in the game that was being used to generate resources.

After a long day of investigation, I believe that the (now deleted) nation with ID 151129 was able to generate approximately:

  • 12.2m Coal
  • 11.8m Oil
  • 10.1m Uranium
  • 13.3m Iron
  • 11.2m Bauxite
  • 12m Lead
  • 16.6m Gasoline
  • 15.5m Munitions
  • 18.3m Steel
  • 15.3m Aluminum

As far as I can tell, they were either unable or unwilling to generate money or Food. It appears that much of the resources generated were sold on the market to be converted to cash.

I have strong reason to believe that this individual was able to generate these funds using the existing trade interface. I do not believe this was an especially malicious exploit or that anyone had access to the database, and certainly I do not have any reason to believe anyone's information was compromised.

As I understand it, they were able to use multis (which have since been deleted) to "double-accept" trades and end up duplicating the resources. This happened because the script would process both requests simultaneously without realizing the trade had already been accepted, thus issuing the resources to both accepting nations.

I have made a patch to the game's code that I believe will eliminate the potential to do this. At the very least, the way that trade transactions are now logged, it will now be very obvious if this occurs. Here in the near future I will be working on addressing this issue further to ensure the integrity and security of the game's code, but in a worst case scenario it will be easy to spot and punish anyone that finds a way to abuse an exploit of this nature going forward.

The majority of the resources that were generated were deposited into the alliance Animal Pharm (ID 5429) on 4-28, which I understand to be an "offshore" bank account for the alliance Nova Riata. I believe that they were certainly able to and did use the resources and funds from selling the resources to benefit their alliance member nations, however at this time I do not have any reason to believe there was any grand conspiracy to cheat by the Nova Riata government, and while it is impossible to know how much they knew, I generally believe they did not realize that the resources they acquired from nation ID 151129 were illegally generated. I do believe that the players pooball and The North 14 were intimately involved with the now deleted exploiting nation, but again, I do not see evidence of any grand conspiracy other than that they simply did not question the origin of the resources.

The resources and money generated were bounced around between Nova Riata and Animal Pharm before yesterday being transferred to another alliance Ripping (ID 5380, now deleted) and ultimately from there to Last man standing (ID 5553). That alliance is currently held by what I believe to be a multi of the main culprit called Dog1. At this time, I have placed that nation into Vacation Mode so that the money and resources stored in that offshore account cannot be touched and the account is preserved for the moment while I do additional investigation. However, my intention is to ultimately ban that account and delete the alliance, which will delete all of the money and resources stored in that alliance bank. The contents of that alliance bank currently are:

image.png

I believe that these funds are largely the illicitly gained resources and the funds from selling those resources, as well as some amount of Nova Riata's actual warchest funds being stored "offshore." While I am not explicitly punishing anyone in Nova Riata for the unfair advantage they have gained as a result of this exploit, I believe that by deleting the entirety of these bank contents, they are going to lose the vast, vast majority of their stored money and resources, and it will effectively serve as a sort of collective justice for their member nations to set things right.

Again, I will continue investigating and working to improve the integrity of the game. On a personal note, I just graduated from college a couple of weeks ago and moved shortly after, so I have been pretty busy with my personal life and wasn't able to get to this issue as quickly as I would have liked. However, going forward I am going to be dedicated a lot of time to P&W and improving the game. If I find out any other pertinent information, or this situation changes, I will keep you all updated.

EDIT: I will note that after further consideration, a number of cities were deleted as well. Read more about that here: 

 

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1 minute ago, Sphinx said:

I guess crime does pay. 

The bank records of Nova high gov clearly show far more than those totals so they've used a large amount of those resources so far (Probably in their wars against KETOG/Panth and of course for buying new cities for their high gov). its good the ill-gotten resources are gone from the game but there should be a punishment for those actions in knowingly exploiting a bug to the degree that they did.

I don't disagree with you, but I don't really have any proof that anyone was knowingly exploiting a bug except for the guy who actually did exploit the bug, who has since deleted all of his nations (except the Dog1 account linked above.)

I am trying to be fair to the average members of Nova Riata who very likely did benefit from this exploit but did so unknowingly. As I stated above, I do believe pooball and The North 14 were most intimately involved, but I still do not feel comfortable punishing them without further evidence they were intentionally abusing the bug for their own benefit.

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1 minute ago, Akuryo said:

Mother of god, if you have an offshore surely you keep track of its contents right? 

 

Apparently not if you're pooballs you just sit there not knowing 

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14 minutes ago, Alex said:

I have made a patch to the game's code that I believe will eliminate the potential to do this.

Damn it, guess I cant become rich 😛

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Also, I like to bring up the fact that it seems this was brought to your attention in the past.  While, at the time, I can understand not really looking into it - but it does show that they knew exactly what they were doing and that they had plenty of time to do it.

None of them brought it up to you till recently when the community started to sniff it out themselves.

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Just now, Buorhann said:

Also, can you thoroughly investigate anybody else duplicating this exploit too or is this a hard thing to search for?

I do believe it's a really hard exploit to pull off. I spent a lot of time this morning trying to do it consistently myself and was unsuccessful. I think it's pretty unlikely that anyone else was knowingly exploiting this bug.

The spikes in the resource quantity tracking graphs basically match the generation of resources by the main culprit here perfectly. I don't see any suggestion that anyone else was abusing a bug like this, and going forward it will be very clear if someone finds a way to do it in the future.

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There's a lot of people upset about the lack of punishment in here.

Why don't you all band together and roll them? I mean there's easily enough of you to do huge damage, and you get to war; it's win-win

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2 minutes ago, Tarroc said:

As the leader of Nova, as someone who possibly did not question and just let the benefits be reaped, should Pooball not be punished? If he didn't know, it was because he did not WANT to know, he's the leader of Nova Riata, he should be held accountable and he punished along with the person who did the act. You can't tell me this didn't happen without his permission, he had to have known something was up, and he chose to not stop it. 

I'm sorry I thought you were Nova. Shame on me.

Edited by James II

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1 minute ago, Machiavelli said:

There's a lot of people upset about the lack of punishment in here.

Why don't you all band together and roll them? I mean there's easily enough of you to do huge damage, and you get to war; it's win-win

I like this idea

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